Throughout a person’s life, they may experience a number of different medical conditions. Whether it’s a minor issue or something more serious, the individual can usually rely on their doctor to help get them back on their feet. However, there are some such problems that still have an air of mystery about them.
Comas are one such issue. Indeed, regardless of advances in medical technology, there are still many things that we don’t know about the condition. At face value, someone can fall into that state in several different ways, from a serious head injury to being medically induced by doctors.
Nonetheless, there are numerous accounts of what it’s actually like to be in a coma. From the point of view of the people who’ve been in that position, though, the answer continues to vary. So with this in mind, a curious user on reddit looked to gather some information on the subject in March 2019.
Browsing the AskReddit subreddit, the user posed a broad question in a new thread. Off the back of that, the query drew in excess of 6,000 comments and more than 50,000 upvotes, kick-starting a long discussion. In among all those responses, a few online users shared some very interesting accounts from their own experiences.
For some people, their greatest fear is of the unknown. Comas would certainly fall into that category, given the various descriptions from patients who’ve gone through one. However, while several aspects of the condition remain shrouded in mystery, the specifics of what it is are fairly clear.
“A coma is a prolonged state of unconsciousness,” reads the description on medical website WebMD. “During a coma, a person is unresponsive to his or her environment. The person is alive and looks like he or she is sleeping. However, unlike in a deep sleep, the person cannot be awakened by any stimulation, including pain.”
Senior man in Intensive Care Unit.
on that note, WebMD provided an explanation as to what leads to the condition developing. “Comas are caused by an injury to the brain,” the description continues. “Brain injury can be due to increased pressure, bleeding, loss of oxygen or buildup of toxins. The injury can be temporary and reversible. It also can be permanent.”
Patient in Intensive Care on dialysis machine.
Off the back of that insight, the website also offers some in-depth information regarding a few of those issues. The page touches upon the effects of ailments such as head trauma, bleeding and swelling, for example, detailing how they can put someone into a coma. And in all three cases, the brain faces serious problems.
When the brain swells as a result of trauma, the fluid pushes up against the skull,” WebMD reveals. “The swelling may eventually cause the brain to push down on the brain stem, which can damage the RAS (Reticular Activating System). [This] part of the brain [is] responsible for arousal and awareness.”
Meanwhile, brain bleeds can be just as problematic. “Bleeding in the layers of the brain may cause coma due to swelling and compression on the injured side of the brain,” the WebMD page continues. “This compression causes the brain to shift, causing damage to the brainstem and the RAS.”
Man after subarachnoid haemorrhage surgery, intensive care unit, is sleeping.
Brain bleeds can occur in a number of different ways as well, as explained by the medical website. “High blood pressure, cerebral aneurysms and tumors are non-traumatic causes of bleeding in the brain,” it adds. On that note, issues such as diabetes and strokes can also put a person into a coma.
While those in the medical profession know how someone can fall into a coma, though, there isn’t such a clear explanation as to what the patient experiences. And it remains a fascinating subject for that very reason. So with this in mind, an online user decided to post a question via social media touching on the topic.
he reddit user, who went under the name yummygumdrop, took to the AskReddit sub to share their enquiry in March 2019. “People who have been in a coma, what was it like from your perspective?” they wrote at the top of the new thread. “Did you know you were in a coma?”
And that question provoked a big response on reddit, with thousands of users joining the conversation. In keeping with yummygumdrop’s opening post, a number of people who had been in a coma offered their own accounts of what happened. A reddit user named iwillcorrectyou kicked things off with their story.
I was in a coma for about two weeks following a cardiac arrest as a teen,” i will correct you wrote in the thread’s comments section. “I was technically dead for over an hour, in fact. People often ask me if I could hear my family talking to me or if I was dreaming. The answer is ‘No.’”
On that note, correctional spoke about their mental state after coming out of the coma, bringing up an interesting point. “There is a huge hole in my memory beginning about two weeks before the coma, through a week after ‘waking up,’” the user continued. “And waking up is in quotes because I would wake up, ask a bunch of semi-incoherent questions, fall back under.”
i would] then wake up again and ask the exact same questions, in the exact same order,” i will correct you added. “Repeat six or seven times.” At that point, the reddit user described the coma itself, which in turn lined up with several other accounts from people who’d been in similar positions.
Indeed, according to i will correct you, they saw and heard nothing during their time in the hospital. “The coma was not even blackness,” the comment concluded. “It just does not exist. I remember having the hardest time believing it was actually mid-October when the last day I remembered was late-September.”
In the Hospital Sick Man Lying on the Bed, His Visiting Wife Hopefully Sits Beside Him Holds His Hands and Hopes for Recovery.